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What is it with Kevin Drum? This is, like, the third time in the past year that he's made an issue of this. What's he got, an obsession? Sheesh.

BTW, I am honored to be included as one of the Four.

Note: It has proved so difficult and time-consuming to reconstruct BT02 that I've decided to forget it and start over from scratch. I'm putting a new Blog Tower together now and hope to have it published in a couple of weeks.



Clearly I'm not in a patient mood and have no inclination to humor these dolts. Their quarterly "I'm a good guy and want to understand this" posts about women bloggers creates a nice opportunity for folks to post about how women just aren't as [fill in the blank] as men. Grrr. I'll confess that nothing but profanity comes to mind. It's SO.... yep, just profanity.

Generalizing about a group of people erases their individuality - and blogging is so much about the individual it's incomprehensible to me that they could so haplessly and with alleged innocence open the doors to discussions that by their very nature erase the individuality of each woman who blogs about politics. [Insert profanity here.]

Kevin Drum and Matt Yglesias win the Idiots Abound award. Kevin has a propensity to scratch his head and wonder where the women are while conflating blog rank with actual existence. Then he proceeds to subtly denigrate women under the guise of trying to understand his false statistics. Matt has a habit of occasionally proclaiming his willing embrace of what he acknowledges as sexist claptrap. The message is that women who read his blog just have to take him as he is - it's not like if we left en masse and never returned he'd notice. So it's okay if he occasionally publishes a post that communicates a lack of respect for women as a group. It's not like we actually matter, you know. He's also guilty of launching the quarterly "where are the women" discussion. You'll notice he didn't even make the male blogger short list.

On a separate note - should I temporarily remove the link to Blog Tower? Just let me know how you'd like me to handle it.


PS It was a no-brainer to include you in the core list of polibloggers. Anyone who reads you would understand.

Trish Wilson

Yeah, this "women blogger" question pops up every two or three months like clockwork. Kevin has brought it up before, and feigned innocence this time just like he did the last time. It never ends. I for one am tired of it. It's not like the guys don't know the women are out there. They just don't link to us, and then later wonder why more women don't read them.

As I said on a couple of blogs, I think the real thing concerning the A-list white male bloggers is that they don't think they are all that influential when it comes to getting media attention. Read my blog post about the "women bloggers" question. I go into the "the media doesn't take the big boys seriously" thing. I think that's what really concerning them.

Elayne Riggs

My blogroll got so unwieldy that I separated by gender, number (I have separate sections for "Groups" and "Duos")and even divided "News+Views" from "Kultcha" blogs awhile back. I've always taken great care to put the female-run blogs first, since that's usually how I read 'em; I find the male-run blogs can be much more of an echo chamber, where the woman-run blogs either have a different take on the news or discuss items the male blogs don't mention as much (or at all). Nobody wants to read variations on the same theme over and over, so I tend to find the female blogs much less draining than the male ones.


Nobody wants to read variations on the same theme over and over, so I tend to find the female blogs much less draining than the male ones.

'Nobody' isn't accurate, I'm afraid, Elayne. It's sad, but the fact seems to be that the less-traveled poliblogs--male or female--are the ones who go their own way and don't follow the herd. The majority of blog-readers would seem to be just as sheep-like as the rest of the population, with an endless appetite for revisiting the same stuff over and over again and something that looks like fear, or at least discomfort, when they run across something new.

Humans tend to get stuck in ruts--once a routine is established, they stick to it. They don't like change and they don't know what to make of 'different perspectives'; they're confusing so they ignore them. I've spent my life looking under the rocks nobody else wanted to look under (it's a character flaw and there isn't much I can do about it at this point--I'm not just addicted, I'm under the illusion that what I'm doing is important somehow, more's the pity) and I know whereof I speak. I agree with you that women often have an individual take on issues or unearth overlooked but significant pieces of the puzzle, which is why I read more of them than I do male blogs, usually, and while I certainly don't minimize the part sexism plays, conscious or not, I suspect that their penchant for individuality is just as big a factor.

Unfortunately, that has to include female readers. At least of those I know (female bloggers excepted, of course), women are much more likely to read male bloggers than female ones. The rut thing isn't gender specific--we all hate change, we all approach anything different with a little fear and a lot of avoidance behavior, and the unwillingness of female bloggers to play the Echo Chamber Game is an element in that avoidance. We seem as a species to need to hear the same thing over and over, and when we do, we believe it ('Where there's all that smoke, there must be fire'?) no matter how silly it is; when we don't, we treat it with suspicion no matter how much sense it makes.

This is the downside of 'community', the Dark Side even, where the need to be an accepted member of the larger group can lead to enforced conformity and communal parroting (I'm a child of the 60's and know something of communes, as well). Unless we're willing to define 'community' a lot more broadly than most are, the 'Us v Them' tribal paradigm kicks into gear and we start drawing lines we're not willing to cross lest we be considered one of the Them. This is no less true in blogging than anywhere else.

I don't read Yglesias hardly ever, and one of the reasons is the highly tribal nature of his commentary (the other reasons are that he doesn't write all that well and he's not a terribly original thinker). As male bloggers go, he plays the ECG way too often and panders to his audience on top of it. On the rare occasions when he attempts something that hasn't already been worked over, he tamps down its originality so as not to frighten his groupies. This makes him comfortable to read. There's simply too much originality in female blogs for most readers to reach that comfort level. Many of these bloggers go out of their way to make sure readers understand they don't pull punches on their blogs (Kath is a great example of somebody who goes where she believes she has to go, and let the chips fall where they may--so are you). This makes them exciting and interesting to read for anyone not afraid to follow them, but many are.

I myself must admit to being caught in this trap. A lot of times I don't link to female blog-posts simply because I don't think their unique perspective will be understood much less appreciated. I fight this in myself as much as I can but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't there. Some of it is automatic and I'm not even aware of it when I do it. I don't know anybody less fearful of being a Them than I am, and yet I still catch myself playing The Game.

I don't have any answers here, I'm just making observations, but it seems to me that a good deal of what all of us who take the less-travelled-by path are up against is the same ingrained human resistance to going out on a limb: the belief that a less-traveled path is less-traveled for a reason, like it's more dangerous. We live in a time when courage frightens people; had blogging been around when courage was admired, would there have been the same resistance to female bloggers? I don't know, but maybe not.


Oh yeah, I forgot to answer your question.

No, leave the link as it is for now. It goes to the only issue still extant. But when I republish BT02, I will also have an 'entry page' which will have links to all the issues. Once that's up, you can just link to that rather than have to add each new issue individually to the blogroll. I have several ideas in the hopper: an issue devoted to the Koufax and Perrenoski Prizes, and another--just for Kevin--that will feature only female polibloggers.


Well, you accurately describe me as Conservative in your Blogroll, Kathy, but I'm just hoping that I can still qualify as "male." :)


Trust me, Boyd. You don't want to be consigned to the "male ghetto" I've created. You still qualify as male - in fact, all four of the conservatives I link to are male. Hmmm. I should add conservative women but honestly they make me too mad. I disagree with their politics, as I do with yours. But it feels like they're selling out women. When men praise Ann Coulter or Phyllis Schafly, I just feel sorry for them and assume they're a little slow. When women do the same, it's much harder to think "poor things don't really get it, do they". I guess I hold women to a higher standard when it comes to supporting or undermining other women. So I'm gonna wait until I find a conservative woman that doesn't make me want to cry in despair for my gender. If you know of any, refer them my way.


Hmmm...the only one I can think of that you may not already be familiar with is much less temperate in her conservatism than I am, so I won't go there.

And since you bring up Ann Coulter and Phyllis Schlafly , I think Ann's a relatively good-looking hoot, but often counterproductive to advancing the conservative agenda. But she does get attention, doesn't she? And I've never paid a lot of attention to Phyllis.

Karen Hughes attracts my attention much more than the above two ladies. Especially since she's a Texan. :)


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Hmmm...the only one I can think of that you may not already be familiar with is much less temperate in her conservatism than I am, so I won't go there.

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